The benefits of brushing our teeth has been embedded into our memory from a very young age. Most of us can remember the early age lectures from our parents, school nurses, and dentists on the importance of brushing our teeth twice per day. When we get up in the morning and just before bedtime. The repetition worked as most Americans claim to brush their teeth at least twice a day. Some people even exceed the twice per day minimum by brushing after every meal. So as a whole, people living in the United States have at least met the minimum of brushing their teeth twice per day, thus protecting, cleaning, and warding off bad breath.
When it comes to flossing, we fall short as a society. Not sure if the early age lectures omitted the benefits of flossing, or if we tuned this part out.
Many studies have been conducted to measure the frequency of flossing in the United States. One such study by CNN in 2016, examined more than 9,000 adults. The results of the study were eye-opening. Over 32% of Americans reported no flossing at all, and only 30% of people reported flossing daily.
Flossing allows for the removal of food that gets stuck in between teeth. However, just because you do not feel any food in between crevices of your teeth, doesn’t mean flossing is not necessary. This is part of the misconception and reason many Americans do not floss daily.
When teeth go without flossing for a period of time, food debris stuck between teeth fosters the growth of plaque buildup. The plaque buildup over time leads to tartar formation. Tartar is much harder than plaque making removal with brushing and flossing very difficult. This stage generally means a visit to your dentist for an in-office removal of the tartar buildup.
Prolonged periods of tartar buildup will put your gums at risk. Tartar produces bacteria and eventually toxins which will damage your gums and lead to periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is one disease that can form due to the production of bacteria. By definition, Gingivitis is a non-destructive disease that causes inflammation (redness and swelling) of the gums. Fortunately, Gingivitis is reversible with proper oral hygiene and the help of your dentist.
Don’t let your oral hygiene get out of hand. All of this can be reduced or eliminated by flossing your teeth daily and regular visits to your local dentist.